At Alaska Urology a urologist, a medical doctor, will perform your vasectomy. We are the only urology group in the Anchorage/Palmer area to do this.
No referral is required for a vasectomy. If you know you’re ready for a vasectomy, we offer patients the option of scheduling the consultation and procedure together (exceptions do apply).
You’ve probably heard chilling or funny tales about vasectomies, such as a physician assistant may perform them. At Alaska Urology patients don’t have to worry about such tales. Our patients state that their vasectomy experience was quick, easy, and more comfortable than they ever expected.
A vasectomy is a simple procedure that makes a man unable to father children. It’s nearly 100% effective (99.85% to be exact). It takes about 60-minutes to perform at Alaska Urology, and it’s usually covered by health insurance. For patients who prefer anesthesia, vasectomy procedures will be completed at surgery center.
A vasectomy is meant to be permanent and should only be undergone with a full understanding of the procedure and after thoughtful consideration.
Vasectomy Procedure – What to Expect
A medical assistant will escort you to an exam room and collect some basic information from you. Then the urologist will meet with you (and your partner, if you’d like) to make sure you understand the permanence of the procedure and answer any lingering questions you may have.
If you’re confident with your decision to have a vasectomy, the urologist will step out to give you a moment to remove your pants/shorts and lay back on the exam table (no stirrups are needed) with a drape covering you. Then, the urologist or his assistant will clean the scrotum with an antibiotic soap. Our doctor will numb the area with a tiny needle of medication injected into the scrotal skin. The anxiety men feel about this step is worse than the shot itself – trust us. It feels the same (most men say, it’s easier) than a numbing injection before a dental procedure – briefly uncomfortable yes, like a pinch, and then it’s over.
After the numbing medicine takes effect, you won’t feel any pain during the remainder of the procedure, although you may feel pressure. The urologist will make an incision the size of a grain of rice in the scrotum and expose the vas deferens, which looks like cooked spaghetti. They’ll snip the vas and return it to the scrotum. They’ll close the incisions with a few dissolvable sutures and cover the area with gauze to protect it.
That is it. The doctor will review the recovery instructions with you and give you a cup for the semen sample that you’ll need to provide in 12 weeks. You will need to put on tight-fitting underwear or athletic supporter and your pants and head home. We ask that someone drives you to and from the procedure.
Is a vasectomy reversible?
A vasectomy reversal isn’t a myth. In fact, Alaska Urology offers vasectomy reversals which are performed in an operating room. They can cost anywhere from $10,000 -$15,000 and there’s no guarantee a reversal will be successful. You should make the decision to have a vasectomy knowing it’s intended to be a permanent procedure.
Planning for a Vasectomy
Most insurance will cover a pre-vasectomy consultation. However, if you do not have coverage, and you or your physician determines it best to have the vasectomy on a different day from the consultation, there will be a visit charge. The amount may be higher if your physician orders additional lab work or testing performed. Payment must be made at the time of the appointment. Appointments can be made by calling 907-563-3103 in Anchorage or 907-745-9500 in Palmer.
If you know you’re ready for a vasectomy, we offer patients the option of scheduling the consultation and procedure together.
Our medical staff will contact you roughly a week prior to the appointment to cover specifics of the procedure.
The cost of a vasectomy will vary depending on your insurance. Most insurance companies will cover the total or partial costs of a vasectomy. It is cheaper for the insurance company to pay for the vasectomy than it is to pay for another pregnancy. Even if your insurance carrier does not cover the costs of a vasectomy, most reproductive surgeons will perform this procedure for under $3000. Considering the cost to raise a child per year is approximately $10,000, vasectomy is a very affordable option.
With Insurance: The majority of health insurances cover an in-office vasectomy. Alaska Urology will find out if yours does. Be sure to provide your policy number and group ID when scheduling. Our billing team will contact you about a week prior to your appointment to detail the cost.
Without Insurance: If you don’t have insurance, the vasectomy cost at Alaska Urology is $2400. That includes the vasectomy and the follow-up semen check.
$200 Deposit: Whether you have insurance or not, you’ll need to pay a $200 deposit when you book the appointment. The deposit minimizes “no shows” and keeps appointments available for patients who are serious about having a vasectomy. After the procedure, the deposit will be applied toward your balance or refunded to you.
This deposit may be forfeited if you cancel the vasectomy for any reason with 72-hours of the appointment. We do this to prevent “no-shows” and last-minute cancelations that “take” spots for patients who want to get this procedure completed.
Vasectomy with Anesthesia: Most patients prefer the cost and speed of an in-office vasectomy. For patients who prefer anesthesia, vasectomy procedures will be completed at a local facility. This pricing will vary depending on the facility and Alaska Urology surgery schedulers will communicate the cost in advance. This will require an in-office consultation.
Vasectomy Recovery Time
Most men schedule their vasectomy on a Thursday or a Friday afternoon. They recover over the weekend and go back to desk work on Monday. If you have a job that keeps you on your feet, plan to take 2-days off, followed by 3-days of light-duty. We can provide a doctor’s note if requested.
You can resume sex after 3-days, but use protection because a vasectomy isn’t effective immediately. It takes 3-months for the pipes to clear. When it’s time, drop off a semen sample, and your doctor will call you with the results.
What are the alternatives to vasectomy?
There are many different options for male contraception; however, none of them are as reliable as a vasectomy. Unfortunately, a reliable male contraceptive pill is not available. A couple can choose to use condoms. These come in various sizes and brands. Condoms offer the additional advantage of preventing transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms can break and they must be applied every time prior to intercourse. Many men report decreased satisfaction during sexual intercourse when they wear a condom. Also, care must be taken not to use a latex condom in couples who have latex allergies. The “withdrawal” method/coitus interrupts us or the timing method is other techniques used to prevent pregnancy. These techniques are not reliable and are associated with unacceptable pregnancy rates.
Female contraception includes birth control pills, spermicides, sponges, intra-uterine devices, implantable hormone pellets, and tubal ligation. Birth control pills and implantable hormone pellets are reliable forms of contraception but increase the woman’s risk of multiple medical problems such blood clots and cancer. Spermicides and sponges can be irritating to both the male and female partners. Intra-uterine devices can migrate out of position and require a small office procedure to place them by a physician. Tubal ligation is an operation that must be done under general anesthesia and requires abdominal surgery.
Should I freeze sperm (cryopreserve) prior to my vasectomy?
Most people who wish to have a vasectomy are sure that they do not want to have any more children in the future. Any doubts about their decision to have a vasectomy can be alleviated by knowing that they have two very important options. The first is to freeze some sperm prior to the vasectomy. This can be arranged by your physician. Sperm can be frozen for many years. The latest successful pregnancy after using frozen sperm is 28 years. The other option is to have a vasectomy reversal. This procedure is greater than 95% successful when done by a fellowship trained male reproductive surgeon. Vasectomy reversal has been successfully accomplished up to 30 years after a vasectomy.